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ATI preps 'five' AMD Socket M2 chipsets

But there's confusion over the release timing

ATI will next year launch five chipsets targeting AMD's upcoming M2 interconnect, if Taiwanese sources are to be believed.

M2 is expected to debut Q2 2006, according to AMD roadmaps, in versions of the dual-core Athlon X2 and the single-core Athlon 64 FX, codenamed 'Windsor' and 'Orleans', respectively. M2 is a 940-pin interconnect.

According to Taiwanese moles cited by DigiTimes, ATI will offer the RX485 and RS485, M2-equipped version of its existing RX480 and RS480 parts.

Production has apparently been scheduled for the end of this year, suggesting either M2 will appear sooner than expected, or the chipset is simply being upgraded to support the new as well as the current CPU socket.

The same timeframe will see the debut of RD580 and RD580C, the latter supporting ATI's CrossFire multi-GPU sub-system. Both chipsets are high-end parts.

Come Q2 2006, ATI will ship RS690, a more advanced version of the RS485 with an improved integrated graphics core, the sources claim ATI's roadmap indicates. But like we say, with M2 not expected until Q2, ATI's launch schedule may well be knocked back accordingly.

All five chipsets will apparently be fabbed by TSMC. Chinese-language newspaper the Commercial Times today claimed UMC will begin punching out 90nm chips for ATI in Q4 this year. ®

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